Website Content Explained
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A Guide to Web Site Content
For a web site to succeed commercially it needs
to achieve high rankings in search engines to
attract visitors and it needs to convert those
visitors into prospects and clients by convincing
them you are someone they want to do business
with. The major contributor to achieving these
two objectives is the content of the web pages
that make up the site, the words and the images
that present and explain who you are, what you
offer and why the visitor should buy from you.
You can write the words yourself, often the best
route as you know your business better than anyone
else, or we can put you in touch with a copywriter
to handle it for you. You can produce your own
images or we can point you at image libraries
containing many thousands of images or we can
put you in touch with a photographer well versed
in taking photographs for use on the web. However
you tackle the issue you should be aware that
bad spelling and grammar will not only put you
in a bad light with your visitors but will be
detected by search engines and count against you
when your site is ranked. It is essential that
textual content is well written for the site to
achieve its goals.
Images should be of adequate quality for viewing
on the web. Poor quality images let your site
down and so should be avoided at all costs. If
you provide our designers with high quality images
they will convert them into the required format.
If you provide grainy, blurred images they can
do little to improve them.
Images can do a great deal to explain and illustrate
what your site has to offer but are not sufficient
on their own. Search engines cannot see images,
only words, so a page full of images alone will
not be found in searches. If the images are annotated
with text describing what they represent that
text will be read by search engines and will help
the site be ranked for those words.
NetSecrets produce a wide range of web sites,
from simple 4 or 5 page online brochures to major
ecommerce sites with hundreds of pages and sophisticated
facilities. Despite this the basics of good site
content apply to both ends of the scale and this
document sets out to explain these basics to assist
clients in working with our designers to achieve
the best results possible for their online business.
2. Home Page
Every web site has a home page. It is the first
page most visitors will see and is also the most
important page for attaining good search engine
rankings, as search engines give more weight to
its content than to any other page.
The first paragraph should explain what products
or services you offer using the main keywords
visitors might search for to find your site. It
can also highlight what makes you worth doing
business with. Very often the second paragraph
will be a list of bullet points. Either a fuller
list of your products and services or features
and benefits you offer. The final paragraph will
often explain the features of the web site, for
example explaining how to place orders in your
online store or how to request a quotation. You
should aim for no less than 150 words of descriptive
text on your home page.
3. Contact Details
This page should contain full contact details
for your business, such as mailing address, phone,
fax, email, ICQ, etc. If appropriate include departmental
contacts, e.g. sales, accounts, shipments, support,
and if there are named individuals include their
photographs to make the site more personal to
the visitor. If you are open to the public list
your opening hours and if appropriate include
maps and directions to your premises.
The latest Company's Act also obliges limited
companies to state their place of registration,
company registration number and registered office.
It is also important to state your VAT registration
number if the site has ecommerce facilities.
4. Online Enquiry Form
Individual visitors to your site will have a
variety of preferences as to how they will make
contact with you. Some will phone you to ask for
more information, some would rather email you
and others will prefer to fill in an online enquiry
form. The more methods of contact you provide,
the more visitors you will turn into prospects.
Typically the online enquiry form will ask for
name and email address as required fields with
optional fields for company name, address, phone,
fax and comments/queries. You should consider
if there is any additional data you want to ask
for in the form. Bear in mind that although it
can be useful to get as much detail as possible
it can put the visitor off if the data entry is
5. Products/Services Page(s)
The pages that describe your products and/or
services are those most likely to persuade the
visitor to do business with you. They should give
concise and unambiguous information on the products
or services in order to generate trust in the
visitor. There is often a debate as to whether
web pages should include prices or not. In our
experience it is best to include prices if there
is a standard price list as lack of transparency
in this area can engender suspicion. The site
structure should make it easy for the visitor
to navigate to the pages that interest them and
the pages themselves should be of a consistent
layout as far as possible.
There are still a number of people who like printed
information so it is usually a good idea to include
product information as downloadable PDF documents
as well as in the form of web pages.
6. Information Pages
Information pages provide the visitor with background
information rather than product- or service-specific
details. These pages are used to establish your
credentials as a company the visitor wants to
spend money with, and usually offer frequently
updated content that give the visitor a reason
to come back to your site repeatedly. They also
provide content for search engines to index thereby
enhancing your position in search engine rankings.
The top level information page will usually provide
links to some or all of the following:
- About Us/Company Profile: company history,
mission statement, key personnel, position in
the market place, memberships of trade or professional
- Links: other sites of interest to your visitors,
link exchanges with complementary but noncompeting
businesses, links to trade or professional organisations.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's): establishes
your expertise in your field of business.
- Testimonials: establishes your reputation.
- Case Studies: real life examples of clients
benefiting from your expertise. These should
be added frequently, not less than one per quarter.
- Newsletters: news items, major orders won,
new products, industry news. Again should be
added to once per quarter as minimum.
- Downloads/Resources: price lists, order forms,
maps and directions, product data sheets, application
7. Sample Sites
Sites that illustrate the points made above can
be accessed from our web site portfolio page by
These examples are by no means exhaustive but
are a starting point. If you want to discuss site
content in more detail contact the NetSecrets
A decision needs to be made early in the project
how the site content is to be produced. The web
site should not go live with empty pages awaiting
content. It is better to go live with a small
number of well written pages and add more later
than it is to have a half finished site. Our designers
will provide a design that will make it relatively
straightforward to add content in the future and
all websites need fresh content on a regular basis
via new products or services or through case studies
A further document is provided by NetSecrets
to assist in defining the structure
and navigation system for your website.
We hope you find this document helpful. If you
have any suggestions for improvements please email
or call us on 01527 571730.
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